In this review, we’ll take a look at Winchester’s dual purpose large pistol primers (WLP). These primers are a bit more powerful than typical large pistol primers, but not as powerful as standard magnum primers. None the less, Winchester categorizes these primers as “for standard or magnum loads”. I have personally loaded thousands of 45 acp, 44 special, and 44 magnum loads with these primers. I’ve used both the old style (nickel plated) and the new style (bare brass). These primers have always worked really well for me with zero malfunctions.
Overall Score: 4.5/5
- – Priced reasonably
- – Dual purpose primer, no need to empty priming system between magnum/standard load changes within the same primer size
- – Compact trays that allow primer pickup tubes to be used directly
- – No dedicated large pistol magnum primer from Winchester
Winchester makes great reloading components, and primers are no exception. Winchester primers are packaged in packs of 100, or bricks of 1000 (a box of 10 packs of 100).
Winchester WLP Primers, Tray, Box (100), and Brick (1000)
Completed rounds (45acp on left, 44 magnum on right), loose primers, packaging (old on left, new on right)
Old-style WLP primers (nickel plated)
Note that Winchester has changed the style of these primers. They used to be nickel plated (for corrosion resistance). Winchester switched to bare brass to minimize the required impact force from the hammer or firing pin for reliable ignition. This can be helpful if you have a lightened action and need primers that don’t require much force to light off. These primers are readily aviailable, and have worked really well for me.
These boxes are not filled with a lot of empty space, so they don’t eat up valuable shelf space. The plastic trays are substantial, and they allow the use of primer pickup tubes (such as the style used with Hornady and Dillon systems). I tend to use an old Lee primer tray, and flip the primers onto a flat surface instead of using the pickup tubes directly on the trays, just my preference.
The nice plastic trays and compact packaging gets a score of 4.5/5.0.
I have shot thousands of both standard loads and magnum loads with WLP primers (both the old style and the new style). These primers have been flawless in terms of ignition, and even with full house 44 magnum loads with bulky powder (Hodgdon H-110) the granules are completely burnt. I have not had any issues with these primers feeding or seating properly. I give these primers a 5.0/5.0 for well rounded performance.
Value for the money:
With a street price of $25-30/1000, these primers are priced at or below the average price for primers at the time of this writing. That makes these primers a solid 4.0/5.0 on the value scale.
Summing it all up:
Winchester WLP primers are a good product that can streamline your reloading process by working both with regular loads (such as 45acp) and magnum loads (such as 44 magnum). These primers come in nice packaging, and work well with factory pistols, as well as pistols with actions that have been worked over (within reason).
For more details see www.winchester.com.